I love colors. Combine this with the fact that I have always been “just a little different,” and it’s not that surprising that my wedding ring has a blue stone instead of a diamond. I don’t really like jewelry, but I love this ring, even if it’s not what you would call perfect.
The large natural sapphire in the center of the ring is technically flawed; three diagonal stripes (one wide, two narrow) cut across the length of the gem. I noticed this when the jeweler first presented the ring to me in the store. I knew I could ask to have the natural stone replaced with a flawless lab-grown sapphire, but as soon as I saw the stripy little gem, I suddenly felt very protective of it. This was my ring, and it was my gem. Somehow, it seemed very important to accept it for “who” it was.
I understand now why keeping the natural, flawed gem was important. This ring is a tangible symbol of my marriage. It’s my message to the world that I’ve entered into an indelible covenant and changed the very nature of my soul by bonding it to someone else’s. That’s something sacred and beautiful…but that doesn’t mean it’s always beautiful.
There are fights and struggles. There are weeks when I am alone because the Mister is working full time while in grad school, and he often falls asleep soon after homework is done. There is strain when finances are tight. There are times when the Mister tells me that a dish I made for the website “looks like a Big Mac gone wrong” (true story).
But those bad times—those “flaws” in the sapphire of our relationship—don’t change the nature of our marriage. The weeks of loneliness have made us more creative in finding little ways to show our appreciation for each other (little notes, surprise desserts packed with lunch, etc.). We learned to budget together, so finances are something we tackle as one. For every time the Mister is critical, there are twenty times when he goes out of his way to build me up and lift my spirits.
I’ve learned that the bad times help you grow, if you let them. Yet, no matter how hard you work at your marriage, you will never be immune to bad times. You can never make all the flaws go away, because the fact is, you’re flawed. So is your spouse. You always will be.
Our marriage is not perfect. We are not perfect. Neither is my sapphire…but that does not change the fact that it is a precious gem.
Our marriage is a precious gem too. I chose to keep my striped sapphire that day at the jeweler’s because I knew something that I couldn’t articulate at the time:
It’s more important to be real than perfect.